Family matters: transgender and gender diverse peoples’ experience with family when they transition.

Henry von Doussa, Jennifer Power, Damien Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the findings of a qualitative Australian study where 13 transgender or gender diverse adults were interviewed about family relationships. The findings indicate the degree to which participants were concerned with protecting family members from the perceived disruption to family life that transitioning can bring about. Protecting family relationships, however, often occurred at the expense of the transgender or gender diverse person as they slowed or halted their transition out of concern for family members’ well-being or the need to preserve relationships. Participants reported low levels of support from health services for family members at the time of transitioning, particularly around supporting families to have conversations about the impact of transitioning on the family unit. We argue that the health and well-being of transgender and gender diverse people rely on positive relational support from, and for, families experiencing the gender transition of a family member.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-285
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Family Studies
Issue number2
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Australia
  • family of origin
  • gender diverse
  • health services
  • Transgender


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